Lifestyle - Sharps Barbers - Windmill Street, London

This post heralds the arrival of a new section of the blog - a section about businesses and events associated with electro-swing, but not of it, namely clothing, drinks etc. This one deals with the bristly issue of barbering.

I was invited to the launch of Sharp's Barbers new flagship store in Windmill Street last week. As those who have met me know, I am extremely attached to my 'tache. However, I have never been professionally barbed (is that the right verb), so I was keen to find out more about these guys, who are keen to promote the idea that 'Maintenance Matters'.

They are trying to offer a service aimed directly at gentlemen, an alternative to feeling awkward in Tony&Guy or the 'what can I do you for' brigade and their electric clippers. The shop has a pleasing retro feel, with vintage barber's chairs and a table tennis table in the waiting area - gone are the days of leafing through ragged copies of Esquire magazine!

Although at the launch we were served proper drinks (the G&Ts I had may have played a small part in my leaving my laptop on the tube later that evening), they will be serving high quality, barista-style coffee and will even have a pop-up food event later next month.

"Enough!" I hear you cry. "Did you let them near your 'tache?" In the end, and to my great satisfaction, the barber and I decided that it didn't need any work, and that my nail-scissor trimming of the lip-hedge had been accurate enough, despite the shakiness of my hands in the mornings. That said, the barber in question (Andy, I think his name was), did give me a fantastic haircut - he really listened to what I asked for, and then gave me some tips as to how to achieve the same effect.

Some bounder getting a haircut

My one moment of concern was when he suggested the use of a hairdryer to 'add volume'. Quite apart from not being prepared to be someone who worries about whether their hair has volume (this is a musical term, no?), hairdryers are very noisy and I tend to be a bit fragile before about three in the afternoon.

Their price list is very reasonable. If you just want your facial topiary straightened out (perhaps you are due in front of the magistrate for pinching a policeman's helmet, or have to meet the mother of that heiress you met last weekend) it will cost you a mere £16.50 - pennies for avoiding ten days without the option or the withering glance of a protective parent. I strongly recommend trying them out.

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